Reaching Critical Mass - Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
The recent unveiling of the prototype AC45 catamaran seems like just yesterday, but critical mass is being attained in New Zealand as several new AC45s come online. These wingsail-powered cats will be used to contest events leading up to AC34, where the much bigger, faster AC72s will take center stage.
Current reports indicate that up to four AC45s will be in the vicinity of Wellington's Viaduct Harbor this week. Interestingly, Oracle Racing—the first team to sail their own boat—is chartering a second AC45 from Mascalzone Latino, the Challenger of Record, in order to get some two-boat testing—a first for this class—starting later this week. Be sure to check out the reports and the photo galleries, in this issue, and stay tuned for more as it becomes known. (Hint: for tech geeks, Oracle Racing's gallery of assembly images is super cool.)
Offshore and in the Southern Atlantic, Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron, aboard Virbac-Paprec 3 have now extended their lead to 485 miles over Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernández aboard Mapfre in the double-handed, nonstop Barcelona World Race. With some 3,300 miles left to sail, this gap is now becoming a fairly important percentage of the remaining Distance To Go.
Interestingly, Peyron and Dick have now held the lead—including a 48-hour pit stop in Auckland, New Zealand—since January 23. The Doldrums are now the biggest remaining wild card, and a place where Martinez and Fernández hope to make up some ground. 'Our passage of the Doldrums is almost decided, but having Virbac-Paprec 3 as a reference to what is happening [is useful]. They are going very east,' says a hungry Martinez. 'We have to have another ten days of eating very little. We had food for 90 days and so with the food we have left we have to do some rationing. This has been a bit of a mistake on our part, the security gates slowed us all, such things are small mistakes we put down to experience.'
Puma Build - Volvo Ocean Race Parker Worthington
Volvo Ocean Race addicts should check out the article in this issue about how media crewmembers have impacted this full-on event. Also, check out skipper Kenny Read's update on where his Puma Ocean Racing team stands in terms of build, preparation and team selection, also inside.
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